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24 Jun 2015

Tourism Ireland welcomes exceptional +12% growth in overseas visitors for January-May 2015

Excellent overseas tourism performance as Tourism Ireland rolls out its promotional programme around the world, aiming to make 2015 best year ever for Irish tourism

Commenting on today’s figures from the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for January to May 2015, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures indicate that this was the best ever January to May period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with more than three million arrivals recorded for the five months – representing an increase of +12% in overseas visitor numbers over the first five months of 2014 and with growth recorded from all of our market areas around the world. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism and we have certainly seen an exceptional performance from North America for the five-month period of January to May – up +14% on the same period in 2014. Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations.”

Niall Gibbons continued: “Mainland Europe has also turned in a stellar performance (+14%) for January to May – with important markets like Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Benelux all recording fantastic growth. It’s also been another record five months for our longer-haul markets, up +13%; and I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (+10%), our largest market for overseas tourism. Today’s figures very much reflect the sentiment expressed by our tourism industry partners overseas, including tour operators and carriers, as well as tourism businesses here at home.

“Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to be a major focus for Tourism Ireland around the world in 2015; we are also showcasing the new Dublin Discovery Trails and paving the way for Ireland’s Ancient East and the Gobbins Cliff Path. 2015 marks 150 years since the birth of Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, and Tourism Ireland is promoting Yeats2015 – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience. This year has also been designated ID2015 (the year of Irish design), a showcase of the best of Irish design.”   


Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.